Patient Care

Transplant Institute to Grow Clinical Volumes, Research, Innovation

May. 1, 2024

A newly formed Transplant Institute is bringing together a multidisciplinary team to further the growth of UR Medicine’s liver, kidney, and pancreas transplant programs.

Under the direction of Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, MD, chief of Solid Organ Transplant Surgery, the foundation for this enhanced program has been strengthened over the past several years. He worked closely with hospital leadership, the chairs of Surgery and Medicine, and former CEO Mark Taubman, MD, who approved the institute concept and modeled it after similar programs at other large transplant centers.

“I am excited about the opportunities the Transplant Institute presents for our patients and our programs. This effort takes our existing, successful system to the next level, creating a larger footprint in Upstate New York, increasing access for patients, and further strengthening our transplant research and surgical innovation endeavors,” said Hernandez-Alejandro, who also serves as chief of the Transplant Institute.

“Ultimately, thanks to the highest level of collaboration between the departments of Medicine and Surgery, it will allow our institution to save more lives and provide second chances for patients and their families.”

The plan includes adding a director of Transplant Medical Services, who will work closely with the Institute chief and provide leadership to medical teams critical to the success of the transplant programs.

The new model also will add a director of Research, to guide growth in transplant-focused research initiatives, including alcoholic liver disease and colorectal liver metastasis and other areas of transplant oncology.

The Institute will create sought-after training opportunities and have a positive effect on recruitment.

UR Medicine Transplant’s kidney, liver, and pancreas programs performed more than 170 transplants in 2023.

UR Medicine boasts the only liver transplant program and the only live-donor liver transplant program in Upstate New York. Patient outcomes are among the best in the nation. It was the first in the Northeast to perform robotic-assisted transplants for kidney recipients, one of the first two centers in the nation to offer liver transplants for select patients with advanced colorectal liver metastasis, and the first in the nation to use a cutting-edge, high-intensity sound wave therapy – histotripsy – for patients with cancerous liver tumors.